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Top 10 Jobs That Pay To Teach English Online [Updated 2020]

Top 10 Jobs That Pay To Teach English Online [Updated 2020]
Jason Wuerch Nov 14, 2018
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

teach english onlineWe get it:

Finding jobs to teach English online can be REALLY difficult. But it doesn’t have to be.

With these 10 apps and websites, you can earn up to $22 per hour – and sometimes even more.

The best part?

You can choose your own schedule and work part-time from home – or anywhere else in the world.

In this article, we’re going to breakdown how much you can earn with each company, their requirements for becoming a teacher and who you’ll be teaching (most of the time you’ll be tutoring kids in China).

If you happen to know of a company that’s not on this list and should be, let us know in the comments below!

Let’s dive right into it with our first item on the list.


VIPKID is one of the newer ESL apps on the market. This web-based education company connects you with Chinese speakers across the world in order to help them learn English. Unlike most apps on this list, VIPKID mostly focuses on the younger generation.

This means you’ll be teaching kids from the ages of 4 – 12. Classes are typically short, lasting only about 25 minutes with the use of headsets and webcams. Since the pay is so high compared to most apps on this list, the requirements are a bit more strict.

You must be a resident of the US or Canada and have a Bachelor’s degree in any field. Not only that, but there’s an initial interview to determine your eligibility. You must be available for at least 15 different time slots per week and teach a minimum of 7.5 hours weekly.

The great thing about this app is that all of the materials are prepared for you. The one thing you should keep in mind is that you’ll be teaching kids across the world, meaning your time zones may differ quite a bit.

The best part? Short classes with a great pay of $14 – $22 per hour – you’ll never receive under $14/hour.

2. Education First

Education First is a recently-launched English program, but that doesn’t mean it’s any worse than the others on this list. In fact, their payout tends to be quite well comparatively.

The best part (in my personal opinion) is that you’re not only limited to teaching kids in China. Education First reaches out to teaching adults and children across the world. Not only that, but they also provide you with teaching materials to lessen up the stress of having to prepare each lesson.

Out of all of the English teaching programs on this list, we find Education First to have the best support when it comes to teachers. They’re also extremely professional in how they deal with any issues that may arise.

Keep in mind that you do need a bachelor’s degree to be eligible and also a 40-hour TEFL or its equivalent. You also need to be authorized to work in the US – this can rule out a lot of people from different countries.

3. QKids

You most likely won’t run out of lessons with QKids. That’s because they’re currently connected with over 300,000 Chinese students who are learning English.

Their payment structure is a little bit different than with VIPKID. You get a flat rate of $8 per lesson, but after that it’s quite easy to earn bonuses throughout each lesson. Keep in mind that QKids is only available to Canadian and American residents.

Another difference that instead of just teaching one student, it’s possible that you can have anywhere between 1 – 4 students per lesson.

The payout tends to be a bit lower than other English teaching programs on this list, but that doesn’t mean you should rule it out. If you keep teaching and get their bonuses, it’s not difficult to earn on average $15/hour or even more.

In order to get hired, you need to hold a bachelor’s degree in any subject and be available to teach at least 6+ hours per week. While note required, an English teaching certificate is highly preferred.

4. GoGoKid

Just like VIPKID, GoGoKid connects you with students only in China that are interested in learning English. They claim a rate of up to $25 per hour, but from our research we’ve found that teachers earn at a rate closer to $16 – $17 per hour.

Keep in mind that parents of children have the option to give you a high rating thus increasing your pay. With this in mind, it’s important for teachers to put all of the effort they can into providing good lessons.

Having regular students will only encourage parents to keep hiring you and to increase your pay. Payment is given at the 15th of each month or sooner.

Just like with all of the apps on this list, you do need to be a native English speaker in order to quality. However, they don’t have strict requirements on whether you need a bachelor’s degree or not. It’s best to apply and find out if they’ll let you pass without this qualification.

5. 51Talk

51Talk isn’t as popular as the first few on the list but they pay at a great rate of $15/hour. Get paid to teach English to children in China from the convenience of your very own home or wherever you might be.

According to their testimonials and other reviews, a lot of people report this being a great job for a stable income. While you may not earn as much as with GoGoKid or VIPKID, they still pay quite well and you won’t have a tough time looking for new work.

Keep in mind that you need to be able to work 4+ hours per week in order to maintain your job at 51Talk. Unlike most apps on this list, sessions are either 45 minutes for group sessions or 25 minutes for one-on-one lessons.

The requirements seem a little bit stricter than other programs, but the interview process usually isn’t that tough. You need to be a US or Canadian citizen, have a bachelor’s degree and have experience teaching kids to get started.

6. PalFish

PalFish is also a mobile app that’s available for both iOS and Android devices. Like NiceTalk, you also get paid by the minute, but what’s different about them is that you can set your own rate, earning you a maximum amount of around $45/hour.

If you start off with such a high rate, you most likely won’t get any students. Until you get some positive reviews, we recommend starting at the average rate of $13.80/hour or lower. You get to choose your own hours.

When you’re ready to speak, log-in and “go online.” From there students will reach out to you if they’re interested in becoming your student.

Most of your students are going to be from China, so keep in mind the time difference when choosing your teaching schedule. When you invite a friend using a referral link you get a 20 RMB (currently $3 USD) bonus.

7. NiceTalk

NiceTalk is a mobile app that’s available for both iOS and Android devices. It was originally designed for Chinese students learning English to improve their language skills. WIth this in mind, you’ll mostly be teaching those from China.

The only requirement is to speak English at a fluent level. To apply, enter in your email, create a profile, record a short video introduction, and start accepting incoming conversation requests.

You can earn $10 for every hour you teach. NiceTalk pays you by the minute, so if you wanted to only teach for 15 minutes, you can still make a quick $2.50.

You need a minimum of $20 to cash out, and payments are made automatically to your PayPal twice a month if you reach the minimum balance. Use the sign-up code RU3N2Ra to get a free $10 upon registration.

You can also refer friends and get a bonus of $10 and give them a bonus of $10 when they sign-up.

8. Cambly

Cambly can be used either on your mobile device via an app or directly from your PC. Registration is incredibly simple, and there’s a lot of students currently registered.

While this is great for finding prospective clients, there’s also quite a bit of competition between teachers. Payments are made via PayPal on the 1st and 15th of each month once you reach a minimum of $20.

You are also paid by the minute, so if you only have a bit of time to spare you can book out early. Cambly has a unique feature in which you can register for a two-hour shift and even take in missed calls from other tutors.

Otherwise, you’re setting your own schedule and waiting for students to contact you as long as your status displays that you’re online. Unfortunately, there’s no bonus for referring friends.

Given this along with the fact that the pay rate is on par with other apps, it’s definitely my least favorite, but definitely worth a try to find more students.

9. SkimaTalk

SkimaTalk is the best on the list for those looking for great teaching resources. While you’re teaching, there’s an English dictionary that translates to almost any language imaginable and their interface is incredibly easy to use.

There’s a lot of teachers currently registered, as long as you’re willing to take the time to create a good classroom environment and work on getting positive reviews, you won’t have any problem.

They’re growing quite rapidly, so they do go through phases of needing teachers every once in a while. Unfortunately, you get paid by the hour. Unless you stick out the full 60 minutes, you won’t get paid unless your students happen to leave early.

If you don’t show up for a class or don’t forget to cancel without enough notice, you will incur a penalty and money will be deducted from your account.

10. Italki

iTalki is one of my favorite resources for learning since it allows English speakers to find partners for their target language, but it’s also great for teachers as well. You get to set your own rate, which usually ranges from around $5 – $40.

However, if you go too high you’ll most likely won’t receive any students. Students can message you and ask for help. iTalki has been around for quite some time, so if you work hard and get a lot of positive reviews, you’ll have no problem getting students and setting decent rates.

In fact, there are lots of people making a living from iTalki. When you use the bonus code 1174649 you automatically get $10 in credit into your account and so does the person referring you. However, this can only be used for learning a language and can’t be converted into cash.


Here are some common questions that readers have asked us.

How Are Lessons Conducted?

All of these companies require video chatting. If you don’t have a webcam, you will need to purchase one in order to get approved (for recording an introduction video) and for teaching. You can buy a cheap webcam for under $5 on Amazon.

How Can I Get More Students?

Your profile and video introduction are extremely important, especially if you’re just starting out. Take some time into filling out your profile and be unique. Make sure to list all of your skills, since some students will want to talk about specific topics.

When recording your introduction video, speak with a loud and clear voice. If students are unable to understand you, it’s not going to help their English, and they’re not going to want to learn from you.

How Are Payments Made?

All payments from all companies listed are made via PayPal. Their minimum payout amount varies.

How Can I Make The Most Money?

If you’re really willing to hustle, we suggest registering for all 5 programs. When you’re ready to teach, go ahead and register as “online.” This will increase your chances of getting a student, and if you happen to get two requests at once you can always reject one.

Which App/Website Is The Best?

That depends on what you’re looking for. In terms of making the most amount of money, PalFish. However, without a set rate it’s going to be difficult to compete with other teachers, and you may have to start out extremely low before raising prices.

In terms of resourcefulness, SkimaTalk. For overall use and learning languages yourself, we recommend iTalki.

Final Thoughts

These companies are great for those who are in between jobs or simply looking to make some extra cash in their spare time. While no experience is required, we still suggest putting up any teaching certificates or experience on your profile in order to attract students.

If you have any questions or comments, you know where to leave them. Thanks for reading and happy teaching!

Jason Wuerch

My name is Jason Wuerch and I'm currently located in Madrid, Spain running a personal finance blog called Frugal For Less. My goal is to help everyone and anyone willing to make and save money through easy and simple ways that don't require much effort. Just because you're frugal doesn't mean you have to give up life's luxuries.

Comments (9)

Hello, Weston again. I’m enjoying your website very much and you have a lot of ideas to make some good money online. I never even thought about teaching lessons online, but I am fluent in my English language and I didn’t even know there were apps out there that could let you teach english online. Awesome!

Are you supposed to have a lesson planned out for your students with these apps or how does that work? Are they just going to tell you what parts of the english language they need help with or what?

My other concern is that sometimes I have difficulty understanding foreign accents. I don’t want this fear to get in the way of giving this a shot, so how do you recommend coping with this? Have you ever had this issue or know of anyone that has? Thank you and I hope we can talk more. I am currently looking for resources that could start me out at earning (preferably) $20 a day. That would help me tremendously.

Hi Weston. I taught students in Taiwan for nearly two years, and if you don’t understand someone’s accent then it’s just something you both have to work through. You can start by correcting their pronunciation. I would search for a basic lesson plan online, but having a delightful conversation is a great start.

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I realize this is an older article and therefore information can also be out of date. I signed up for and have taught on PalFish. Its a fun, social site. But rates of pay are extremely cut throat. It is very difficult to earn a living wage when the average rate is well under minimum wage (by US standards) I for one will jot work for $3.00 an hour.
But, like I said, it is very social and can be fun.

Hey! Thank you for the list. I was thinking of applying to those that may accept members worldwide. I am a bit skeptical about using skype and such. Don’t like video chatting much.

Hi Vidya,

I personally never had any concerns about using Skype, but I can understand why you might be a bit skeptical. Unfortunately, for teaching English and making money with these sites, you’re most likely going to have to use video chatting 100% of the time.

January 2, 2019

Hi Jason
Just a heads up about VIPKid and very likely any other Chinese online teaching companies….the Chinese government is setting standards for online teachers teaching their children. So be careful to read the new requirements carefully.

Also, to correct a comment about VIPKid, you do not have to be a resident of Canada or America but you need to be a citizen of one of those two countries. The difference is I am a Canadian living in south east Asia and teaching with VK. Many north American citizens are living abroad and working for the company.

I also work for Education first and they were founded in 1965.

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